The Moon The Other Night
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Up Cycled Art
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Up cycling your Art

By Russ bertlow

 

 

This up coming Friday May 4, is First Friday Art Walk at Crystal Fantasy.

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It is a chance to meet and greet the Artist who’s works are displayed there. Joy the owner host the even each month. My photography as well as my new Up cycled Pansy Flower incense burners will be on display and for sale.

So what is Up cycling, and why is it good for the environment?

Up cycling is recycling taken to the next level. It is finding new purpose for discarded Items.

We through so much away. We waist even more. Our landfills are full of items that will take a lot of those items decades if not centuries to break down if they break down at all. Check these stats below. Styrofoam is the worst. It is the Cockroach of waist. Worse you can kill a Cockroach you can’t kill Styrofoam.

Paper- 2.5 months; Orange Peel- 6 months;

Milk Carton- 5 years; Cigarette Butt- 10-12 years;

Plastic bag- 10-20 years; Disposable diaper- 75 years;

Tin can- 100 years; Beer can- 200-500 years;

Plastic Soda Bottle- 450 Years; Glass Bottle-500

Styrofoam- never (immortal)

We as humans have gotten to a point where wasting things is the norm. Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons every year, to circle the equator 300 times. That’s pretty amazing. We all do it and the wealthier the more inclined we are to waste statistically.

It makes perfect sense the more your resources are limited the more likely you are to use completely what you have as well as recycle the containers they come in. That’s not to say you will but there is a higher likely hood that people who are more limited in their resources will use the resources they have more sparingly and that can translate to less in the landfill.

Up cycled Art as Upscale Items

I like beauty. Thankfully it is all around us. I like to create beauty even more. Granted beauty is in the eye of each beholder there are somethings we can all agree on that are beautiful. Marilyn Monroe, Brad Pitt, Peacocks, Flowers, Rainbows, Sunsets, saving the earth and her resources Just to name a few. This same beauty can be found in creating art with recycled materials. To me there is no greater feeling then bringing new life and beauty from Items that have been tossed or discarded. Using reclaimed materials to create art not only helps to keep it out of our landfills but it also gives one the chance to create a unique work of art.

Whether you paint, sculpt, take pictures or what ever else you do artistically there is always opportunity to use reclaimed material and make it part of your project. In my photography I use reclaimed Wood and reclaimed frames to show case my photography. In my painting I also use reclaimed wood to create my stretchers as well as discarded and left over canvas fabric to create the canvases and that is just the beginning. All of my canvases in the last 12 years have been painted with reclaimed paint or as I call it Mistake paint. Some cans have come from recycling centers others from the big box hardware stores where the color didn’t turn out or some other mistake is made. I like using the latex because it is more water soluble. I just finished some beautiful Pansy flower broaches made from 100% reclaimed, discarded and re-purposed material. The materials I used where discard sheet metal (That I found.) Broken glass and mirror that I have found or re purposed from glass and mirror that ended up broken.

The other morning my partner called me to the TV to see a broach the presidents wife wearing. A broach that looked very similar to the recycled ones that I was making. A little plainer and probably much more expensive material but from the TV you couldn’t tell it just looked very much like the pieces I had created

Anything is Possible when you recycle for art.

Recycled art is all around us. You won’t always recognize it but it is there. From funky chairs to sculpture and picture frames and more. Recently I was in one of our local thrift shops and I saw a very distinctive piece of recycled wearable art. It was a broach fashioned out of an old coco cola cap. It had used the cap as it’s base and by adding rhinestones and a vintage faux gem stone (glass) it made for a beautiful and unique piece.

The creative mind that recycles.

When I see recycled art, I always have this since of awe. For the artist who took Item(s) that have been tossed and had the vision to see the beauty that is there and bring it out for all to see it that is incredible inspiring to me. To use recycled Items to create art gives me a wonderful since of accomplishment. I feel as if I have created a bit of magic from items people had no use for. For me it is like taking the trash and turning it into a garden of wonderful creations.

Places to find recycled materials to create art

For those of us who like to create beautiful art from recycled materials we find many places to haunt for recycled materials. Here are some of types of places you can find material to create. The most immediate place would be your own back yard, your home, apartment. Ask yourself what are you discarding that you could use to created art? A great place to find and reclaim wood is behind furniture stores. From Pallets

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to 2×4 to 1×2 and other pieces of wood. Not only are Furniture Shop dumpsters good for fining lumber you can find all sorts of bits and pieces for making are. To of the very fist glass piece I created though simple where from a broken glass table top that I found behind a consignment store (which are also great places to find art material. California and Nevada the two pieces below pieces that came from a glass coffee table top that I had found broken on the ground behind my favorite consignment shop. With a little sanding and shaping California and Nevada emerged. Most of the materials for the Hattberry tree also came from the same location. Beautiful material can be found anywhere you look. Garage sales are another place to find material for art at a good price. Whether you are walking down the street, looking in your own back yard or dumpster diving art materials can be found. The Up cycle? You are keeping it out of the landfill and creating new beauty.

Think outside your perceptions.

We are so quick to toss things away. We live in a Wendy McDonald world were every thing is fast and disposable. We discard Items with out a second thought. When we do we are throwing away potential beauty. As an artist you can learn to think outside of your perceptions of what materials can create art and in doing so you show others how to think outside of their own perceptions as to what is beauty. And that is beautiful with in itself.

We live in a world with diminishing resources. Even our renewable resources are diminishing. As artist we have the chance to create beauty using recycled items keeping them from the landfill. As they say Beauty is where you find it.

One persons discard is another persons treasure. What will your next creative treasure be made of?

Some information on Up cycling materials.

you can often find bolts of fabric at thrift shops amazingly cheap. They can be used for all sorts of wonderful creations from Painted Bags to Stretcher canvas. Mistake paint at the Big Box Hardware is cheap. A sample size is 50 cent a quart $2.50 and a gallon $5.00.

Paint can be stored for many years and still be useable.

Shattered Tempered glass can be great for detailed mosaics and it can be found in Dumpster, Wrecking yards and many other places.

You can use reclaimed wood for everything from making furniture, sculpture, picture frames stretchers and more.

There are a great many ways to create artistic beauty from recycled items. Your imagination is your only limit.

Check out some of the recycled art here at this site. You can also check out some of m Recycled Pansy flower incense burners at Crystal Fantasy

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in Palm Springs Ca.

All material is original and property of Russ Bertlow © all rights reserved. This article (blog entry) may not be reprinted with out the express written permission of Russ Bertlow.

 

 

 

     

     

 

 

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Beneath Beauty
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The Moon the other night
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The Bugs
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Russ Bertlow Photography Cloud Series II
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The story of

 

The Hattberry Tree

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By R.E. Bertlow

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Wild jungles in the land of ZuuZune grows the very rare Hattberry Tree tree.

 

You might ask, What is a Hattberry Tree tree? And that would be a very good question.

 

 

Why most people have never even heard of the Hattberry Tree tree.

 

You are also probable wondering why it is called Tree twice? Or why is it called the Hattberry Tree tree to begin with?.

 

And the are all very good questions.

 

Lets start from the point our path begins. What is a Hattberry Tree tree.

 

The Hattberry Tree tree, grows in the Wild jungles in the land of ZuuZune…. oh I already mentioned that.

 

The Hattberry Tree tree is the one and only tree that produces genuine chandelier crystals.

 

I know what your thinking the Crystals are mass produced at a factory in Franklin NC. You would be correct in part but that is not the whole story.

 

 

As a matter of fact if there hadn’t been a Hattberry Tree tree the whole idea for a chandelier would have never come about.

 

It was the ZuuZunes warriors need for light reflecting sources and impeccable taste that led to the creation of the first chandelier.

 

One day while hunting for reflective surfaces wilds of the M-ruled forest an Chad the tribes elder Narcissistman (each tribe had two a younger and and elder.) discovered the Hattberry Tree tree’s. When he had inadvertently stumbled upon and entered the caves of Swarovski.

 

For a moment he just stare at the beauty that surrounded him. In awe of it’s magnificence.

 

Every Surface reflecting light.

 

The mirror like walls of the cave itself! The tree’s with they’re hanging crystals!

 

At first he couldn’t believe his eyes.

 

All around him were Hattberry Tree tree’s. He was surrounded by them.

 

Why it was like being in a great light. As the sun shine into the caves of Swarovski.

 

Of course at first they weren’t called Hattberry Tree trees at all.

 

Originally they were to be called Chadelier Tree trees.

 

That was until they discovered the berry of the tree.

 

 

Chad left the caves of Swarovski to head back to the village and tell everyone of his great discovery of light reflecting surfaces.

 

That night Chad told his fellow tribes people of his great discover and how he had found the infinite source and they would be able to harness it’s power to keep there little Greenwich Village humming along smoothly.

 

Later the villages of LA and Palm would share in Chads discovery but I jump ahead of myself to an almost inconsequential point. Anywho…..

 

The next morning Chad and Biff the tribes elder and younger Narcissistmen set out to the caves of Swarovski along with Amber and Tiffany the tribes elder and younger Narcissistwomyn.

 

As they headed out they left the village and entered the S-ruled jungle making there way down the paths with barely room to walk two by two for all the stuff spilling out from beyond the pathway.

 

As the left they S-ruled jungle and set foot into the M-ruled jungle there they saw it, The great caves of Swaroski.

 

It was still early so the sun was just on the rise as the entered the caves.

 

The four watched as the sun began to illuminate the cave and the cave became like the reflective surfa9ces of a thousand disco balls.

 

Why it was so bright they had to dawn their Stunn glasses just to be able to absorb and process all the reflected light from the mirror and crystals.

 

Tiffany decided to break off a piece of the mirror and to her amazement it immediately grew back.

 

Biff seeing this decided to take a crystal off one of the trees and it to immediately grew back.

 

Ahhhh said Chad this truly is a wonderful discovery.

 

 

Why is it called the Hattberry Tree tree and not the Chadelier Tree tree?

 

It is a very peculiar thing. While everyone agreed that it should be called a Chadelier because after all it was discovered by Chad. Well not everyone agreed Oddly enough it was Chad himself who became opposed to the idea of it being called a Chadelier Tree tree. As he studied the tree more he would learn a great many things that while may not change the world they were certainly interesting. One of these thing he discovered is that the tree seem to develop and grow berries. They grew two (2) on a stem and when they where completely ripened they were a multitude of colors and they had two stems. One that secured it to the plant which attached at the bottom center of the berry and the a False stem that attached at the top cent of the berry. It resembled an elaborate hat. Each stem of berries had matching hats with minor variances but, no two stems of berries had the same hats.

 

Chad took this discover to the council and petitioned to have the tree renamed the Hattberry Tree tree which because he had discovered it they were happy to do.

 

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What is a Hattberry?

 

In a nut shell they are an inedible fruit that have two stems. The one on bottom secures it to the plant and the one on top is false. By the time the fruit is completely ripened the upper stem has morphed into and taken on a Hat like look to it. Because of the false stems hat like shape the plant came to be know as the Hattberry Tree tree. The inside of the Hattberry is filled with Bugle seeds Which are favored by the Blue Beatty Beaks one of only two species know to inhabit the tree.

 

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The Characteristics and Habitat of the Hattberry Tree tree.

 

The Hattberry Tree tree is know for it’s Pinwheel flowers, Curly Q’s and Mosaic in appearance brown glass like trunk as well as some of the branch bases. Suspended Dew Crystals that develop of time hang from what appear to be golden threads but are actually little threads of plant fiber that grow from the main plants branches and Curly Q’s. The morning dew in the caves of Swarovski would slide down these threads where the would collect at the bottom and over time would develop the dew crystals. Because they developed over time they had a chiseled cut appearance of them and the fact that they hardened like glass made them perfect for the villages need to refract light to create more sources of light energy. They would soon learn that after a crystal had been picked it would replenish itself seven (7 )times. They also noted that the tree had what became know as the Mother Pearl Crystal. It was the only crystal that does not replenish it self seven (7) times. It in actuality drops to the ground at some point starting a new tree. After the tree has crystaled ( the process of creating crystals) seven (7) times it’s flowers petrify as do the Curly Q’s. The tree is inhabited by only two species of birds both unique to the Hattberry Tree tree . The Blue Beatty Beak and The Red Curlys.

 

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The Hattberry Flower:

The flower of the Hattberry Tree tree is just as unique as the berry and it’s inhabitants are. The Hattberry flower is distinguished by it’s Pinwheel shape and the crystal, pearl, metallic and other reflective or effervescent adornments it seems to develop over time. Each tree with have what are know as the “Grand Three” they are the three tallest pinwheel flowers that rise from the center of the trees trunk. The rest of the flower branch out from stems off the main trunk. Flower size is fairly standard except for the ”Grand Three” they display with 2 medium size flowers and on large flower. The Hattberry flower is know as the original pinwheel.

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About the Birds of the Hattberry Tree tree.

 

The birds of the Hattberry Tree tree are unique to the Hattberry Tree tree as well as to the caves of Swarovski. They have never been seen anywhere accept in the caves or directly outside of the caves.

 

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Blue Beatty Beaks:

Blue Beatty Beaks are characterized by there blue color and the adornment to their Beaks and bodies with the Bugle seeds from inside the Hattberries.

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Red Curlys:

Red Curlys are named for the way that there colorful plumage curls mimicking the Curly Q’s of the Hattberry Tree tree. One of the unique features of the Red Curyls is that while the main part of their bodies are red their curly feathers are in varying shades from Bright Yellow and orange with Red to Pink Purple and Red combinations. Almost all combinations include a few white curly’s and the tail feather are mimicked by the head plumage or headdress of the bird.

 

 

As you can see the Hattberry Tree tree is a very unique tree that grows in abundance in only caves of Swarovski .

 

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Lucky finds and recycled items that became the HattBerry Tree
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Lucky finds and recycled items that became the HattBerry Tree

More about the evolution and found, re-purposed and discarded Items of the HattBerry tree

It can’t be stated enough, there is nothing like finding great stuff to make art with. There is a completely different since of accomplishment when you make a piece of art that comes together with all found, discarded and re-purposed materials. Basically, making art from free materials that you have hunted or as I call it, treasure hunted down.

 

The re-purposed items.

 

The HattBerry Tree started with some re-purposed items about to be tossed. The trunk was an old fake palm tree trunk that had faded leaves on plastic coated wire, which was peeling in spots. From this, I took the leaves out stripped each branch of its leaves (which kept. Originally, I was going to adhere them to the trunk of the tree.) I cut the remaining wires into section (so that I had about 20 wires of varying length.) to create the base of the Pinwheel flower.

 

I used narrow gagged copper tubing that had been part of a set of wind chimes that had long since fallen apart where used to create green grass on the base which the tree sits on Each piece of glass sits on a mirrored tile left over from various previous project.

 

The tree base is made from discarded reclaimed pallet wood while its center tree support is made from a table leg from a set of four discarded table legs.

 

The Hattberry’s are made from discarded round Christmas ornaments decorated with left over paint in various colors. Inside the HattBerry are the seeds made of left over bugle beads in various color. The grout I had left over from a pervious project. Though white, I added some green color wash instead of water to the mixture. This way the color is mixed right in. Flower adornments are from left over bits and pieces from old jewelry, beading projects as well as various items from my collection of stuff.

 

The Bamboo stems are from my own yard and plant. I literally grew my own stems for the pinwheel flowers.

 

The Lucky Finds.

 

The HattBerry tree would not have come to be if it hadn’t been for the find of several pieces of easy to cut, about 1/16 an inch or maybe an 1/8 of an inch thick sheet metal.

This is what allowed me to make the pinwheel flower. Though I had the materials for the HattBerry’s they too where sort of a lucky find. We had been pulling Christmas decorations down when we came across  four containers of never opened Christmas ornaments in the shape of a giant Christmas ornaments one of these containers had some broken or

Ornaments in them so these became Hattberry’s.

 

The bark was the luckiest find of all.

Quick history. I have done mosaic work for quit some time I love it though I hadn’t made a mosaic piece in a while. After seeing the British Guide to showing off (The story of Andrew Logan and the Alternate Miss World Pageant.) I was enthused about the prospect doing another mosaic. I never figured that the current project I was working on would become that mosaic but it did. I had stop by one of my regular treasure hunting spots one day and to my amazement a  very large root beer colored piece of  tempered glass had shattered and now lay for the most part on top of a piece cardboard preventing it from sliding down to the bottom of the dumpster. I was able to retrieve about 25 lbs of it giving me plenty of glass to cover the base and trunk. I honestly wasn’t going to stop that day because the last couple of days had netted nothing. I was on my way home from my last dog walk and decided to stop by anyway. I was glad I did because even though it was dark and I had to use my flashlight to see what I was doing, I managed to fill a large canvas shopping bag with the tempered glass

 

 

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The Ghostly Ballerina
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The Ghostly Ballerina

 

 

 

 

 

the night came swiftly the performance would be soon

 

The Ghostly Ballerina Howling at the moon.

 

 

On point in the sky as she spins through the night

 

The Ghostly Ballerina practices till she gets it right.

 

 

The night draws thin the time is now.

 

The Ghostly Ballerina bids the moon good bye with one last howl.

 

The Sun is on the rise her dance has begun.

 

The Ghostly Ballerina shares her show with everyone.

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